There are only a few things that you need to know about “sewers,” but they are important. The SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM is designed to collect wastewater from your home and convey it to the sewerage treatment facility in Orangetown. Sanitary sewer pipes are fairly small – usually 8 inches in diameter – and are designed to carry wastewater only. The Village pays a fee to Orangetown for treatment services. The fee is based on the volume of wastewater and is paid for via your Village tax bill. More about this later.
The STORM DRAIN SYSTEM is a separate system that is designed to carry run-off from rain and snow events. The most visible parts of this system are the catch-basins found near the curb on most village streets. Storm drain pipes are typically much larger than sanitary sewer pipes, since stormwater flow can be quite heavy in a big storm. The storm drain pipes empty directly into the Hudson, or into Village streams, which also drain into the Hudson. This run-off is not treated, so it is important to avoid putting any liquid other than water into the storm drain system.
Both systems are designed to be completely separate. When they are connected, there can be major problems. Stormwater in the small sanitary sewer system pipes can quickly cause the system to overflow, dumping untreated sewerage into the street or, even worse, into homes. Stormwater can increase the volume of flow to the treatment plant, and raise the Village’s treatment costs and your Village tax bill.
Stormwater can get into the sanitary sewer in two ways: cracks or loose fittings in the pipes, or from illegal connections of sump pumps and downspouts of private homes to the sanitary sewer pipe. The Village is responsible for finding and fixing cracks and loose fittings, but homeowners are responsible for correcting illegal connections of cellar drains, downspouts or sump pumps to the sanitary sewer. Please take a moment to check your property to make sure that all stormwater drains are not connected to the sanitary sewer.
If you aren’t sure how to check this, please contact Village Hall to set up an inspection or to get answers to your questions.